Local elections end with Maloney win
On Tuesday, Nov. 4 the United States citizens cast their vote in the midterm elections. As of 12:23 a.m. Wednesday morning, the initial results from the 18th district congressional election suggested a victory for Sean Patrick Maloney. Maloney declared his victory against Nan Hayworth with 79,705 votes to Hayworth’s had 77,961. While both candidates spoke on strengthening the local economy, Hayworth, a Republican, focused on providing aid to veterans and making changes to the Afforable Care Act. Maloney, a Democrat, ran on a platform based on creating jobs and strengthening the economy. For his two year term, Maloney will be representing parts of Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester and Orange counties.
In the 19th district, incumbent Chris Gibson won the congressional seat when his opponent, Democrat Sean Eldridge, conceded the election in an address at 10:40 p.m. Gibson was first elected to the New York state congress in 2010 to the then-20th district, before local redistricting. In Dutchess county, Gibson won 61% of the vote. Gibson ran on a platform based on job creation and infrastructure, but noted that his primary goal was relevant to New Yorkers in particular. “Most immediately, I will be working with the Senate to ensure passage of my Lyme Disease bill so we can get that bill signed into law by the President,” he said. “As always, my commitment to those I have the privilege to represent remains constant: I will always put the needs of Upstate New York first in everything I do” (Poughkeepsie Journal, “Gibson Wins 19th Congressional District,” 11.05.14).
Vassar’s campus is split between the two districts, and students who registered as New York voters were able to participate in this election. The College offered shuttles for students to the voting booths throughout the day.
Republican party takes control of Congress
For the first time in eight years, the Republican party has the majority of seats in the Senate. After winning several key elections in Arkansas, North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado, Republicans are expected to take close to 245 seats, which is the largest margin since the Truman administration. The conservative majority will likely be at odds with the decisions Democratic president Barack Obama will try to make during his last two years in office. Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, spoke to this issue, stating, “Barack Obama has our country in a ditch, and many of his lieutenants running for the Senate were right there with him…The punishment is going to be broad, and it’s going to be pretty serious” (New York Times, “Riding Wave of Discontent, G.O.P. Takes Senate,” 11.05.14).
Some of the initial reasons for the changing tide are general dissatisfaction with President Obama’s perceived failure to appropriately deal with the economy. The new majority will force Obama to seek bipartisan support for legislation regarding issues such as tax and healthcare reform.
Other highlights from the national elections included Republican Joni Ernst’s win, making her the first woman from Iowa to win a seat in Congress, and two traditionally Democratic states, Maryland and Illinois, electing Republican governors. Additionally voters in Oregon and Washington D.C. voted to legalize marijuana for those 21 and older, with Oregon’s proposal following the precedents of Colorado and Washington State, while D.C’s legislation will not involve the selling of the drug.
—Meaghan Hughes and Palak Patel, Senior Editors Extraordinaire